“That church is the devil’s playground,” she had warned him. But despite the warning from his now-dead wife, Benjamin Thomas has finally obtained the post he has been coveting for years: he and his son, Forrest, are now Pastor and Assistant Pastor of the First St. Marks Missionary Baptist Church.
“That church is the devil’s playground,” she had warned him. But despite the warning from his now-dead wife, Benjamin Thomas has finally obtained the post he has been coveting for years: he and his son, Forrest, are now Pastor and Assistant Pastor of the First St. Marks Missionary Baptist Church. They are given a choice of housing: the parsonage beside the church or a mansion, an old plantation, that has been donated to the church by a former member. Because of its dark past: the horrors of slavery, the disappearance of a past pastor and his family, and the reported murder and suicide of another pastor and his wife, they were warned against taking the mansion. Ben chooses the mansion.
Forrest discovers that there is major corruption going on in the church and that the chairman of the Deacon Board, Gaston Burton Davis—who is also the town’s mayor—is at the core of it all. He also suspects that his father is being threatened in an effort to get him to go along with the corruption. The morning after a meeting with Deacon Davis, other members of the Deacon Board, and the head of the Trustee Board, Forrest knew that his suspicions were true. His father comes down to breakfast looking as if he had been fighting with the devil himself all night. And, indeed, he probably had been—the aftermath of his meeting with Deacon Davis and his posse from the church the night before. He could not just sit by and do nothing while his father was being harassed. With the help of one of the mothers of the church, Forrest tries to save his father, and the church, from the negative forces that are working against First St. Marks. In the meantime, the practice of tithing is explored.
Written BY: Dr. Mildred Dumas
Mildred Dumás’ outstanding history includes many genres. She is an actress on stage, screen and television. Her credits include Lady Killers, The Hustle, and she is best remembered in her role as Principal Brandywine on Nickelodeon’s Unfabulous show. She is also a playwright, and her plays have been produced by theaters around the country–including, When the Past Comes Back…, a drama about sorority hazing. This play received seven NAACP Theatre Awards Nominations in 2001. Bitter Inheritance, her first novel, has been adapted into a screenplay. Christmas Blessings is her third novel.
She is as a Naturopathic Doctor and has penned a book on natural healing, God’s Diet for His People. Dr. Dumàs resides in Southern California.